As I warned everyone in my February in Review post, March was a crazy month for me. I knew this would be very much “In like a Lion” and the month did not disappoint. A lot happened for work, personal, and bookish lives!
- I spent a long weekend at home with my family, which was lovely. The craziest part was venue hunting for the wedding! I think we’re finally making progress… No one ever told me wedding planning was so stressful! (Expensive, yes, but never stressful) — It’s a HUGE point of anxiety in my life. #TooMuchInformation
- While I still met my posting goal for the month, as well as hit some goals I had been slacking on in other places, I didn’t get much as reading or posting done. Why? Because I acquired a new WiiU and Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild!!! This game is gorgeous and addicting. I have been playing for hours and I feel like I’ve made minimal progress. So, instead of reading (or posting or sleeping) I’ve been running around Hyrule with Link. It’s totally worth it.
- I GOT A NEW JOB! I still work for the same company, but I am transferring to a different department in mid-April. It means that some major projects need to be wrapped up on my old role, and it a lot of travel in my new role as well as a ton of new stuff to learn. But I’m super excited. Lots of opportunities can come from this new position. Plus, I am anticipating travel will be good for the blog life.
- I expected my blog-hopping to slow down in March, and while it did some, it didn’t as much as I expected. There was about a week of drought but I feel I still stayed pretty on top of what you guys are doing. Nailed it! I STILL LOVE YOU ALL. My neglect is obviously only temporary. 🙂 I hope to get back in the saddle with daily blog hopping shortly.
- I won Brendon’s They Who Were 8 board game giveaway on Reading and Gaming for Justice. I am SUPER excited! Winning giveaways makes me appreciate my blogger community so much. I know what is involved. Giveaways are hard work! Anywho, I recently found a love for turn-based card games, and I cannot wait it play with my friends.
- FINALLY Lin @ Lins Perspective and I got our Souvenirs From Across the World boxes to each other! I cannot wait to post my unboxing. Lin will crush me in the photo department, but I am still excited for us to share our packages and the connection we’ve made across the globe.
March has been a whirlwind, but that is to be expected. As March is known for: “in like a Lion out like a Lamb”. That is certainly what happened in March. A ton happened in the first few weeks and boom: things are trickling back to normal as March wrapped up. I can dig that. I look forward to April and my new job!
List of Reads
March wasn’t a great reading (or blogging) month. I had all sorts of aspirations and goals. Alas. I did read more than I expected I would care of some long road trips and audiobooks, but all my book club books were literally being finished in the parking lot before we met. It was more stressful than I would have liked. I am hopeful that April shows a new leaf of blogging and reading.
Read – 10 total books
MUST READ this month:
The Fifth Season – It’s no secret that I adore N. K. Jemisin’s works.Her Inheritance trilogy just blew me away (Check out my review for her first book in that trilogy, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms), and I couldn’t wait to read more. The Fifth Season is the earth-science based sci-fi novel you didn’t realize you were missing. I adore the characters, their development, and their relationships. The writing is addicting and sometimes a bit confusing– but in a way where you realize a re-read will provide you a completely different experience than this read. If you are remotely interested in science fiction, read this book. But note: The final book in the trilogy doesn’t come out until August!
A Conjuring of Light – My Must Read book for February was A Gathering of Shadows, so it’s no surprise the the final book in the Shades of Magic trilogy is listed here as well. Schwab provided a wonderful conclusion to an engrossing series. I felt like all our characters got their due, I cried a ton, and I closed the book satisfied. Obviously, start this series with A Darker Shade of Magic, but read them all. This isn’t particularly dense fantasy, so even if you are on the fence about fantasy in general, check this series out. There’s magic and some world-hopping, but no Elves or Dwarves or excessive poetry/singing. 🙂
DANGER! Avoid this month:
That’s right. Nothing. While I did have one 2 star book, Magic Knight Rayearth is the first volume in a three-volume manga. I don’t think it’s fair to judge until I’ve read them all (which was my plan, but c’est la vie). I think that all the books I read this month have merits. If you aren’t into graphic novels, then I think it’s fair to avoid Zodiac Starforce and Magic Knight Rayearth. But if you’re prioritizing anything, read The Fifth Season and the Shades of Magic trilogy. They are all awesome books.
I’m making slow by steady progress on my yearly reading challenges. For the end of Quarter 1, things are going pretty well! I’m a little behind overall, but confident I can catch up my pacing by the end of June.
- Overall Reading Challenge: 38/110 (34%)
- Listopia Challenge: 3/15 (20%)
- PopSugar Reading Challenge:12/52 (23%)
- Read Harder Challenge: 5/24 (20%)
It wouldn’t be tsundoku if I didn’t have a gigantic pile of books waiting for me!
As most of you know, tsundoku means the act of leaving a book unread after acquiring it, typically piled up together with other unread books on shelves, floors, or nightstands. In my case, I get most of my books from the library. But, having 21 books checked out and waiting to be read can be overwhelming (even if it is down from the 31 I had last month!). I interpret my tsundoku as a combination of the physical books waiting to be read, but also the gigantic TBR I have listed. My goal? SHRINK THE TBR.
This month I did not acquire a single new book! That’s a huge deal considering my track record. I hope it’s more than just being busy and I can continue that trend. In February, my pile was 1,813 books. Now…
YES! Look at that number go down! A huge shout out to Laila @ Big Reading Life for a pro tip: Do a Goodreads TBR culling! I spent a few hours one weekend culling my list, and I feel way better for it. I didn’t go particularly deep in my culling but I hope to do another round this Spring. It was actually a really fun adventure peeling through some of the older books in my TBR. I am hoping to reach only three digits by the end of 2017, either through reading or culling.
I also have the honor of being the judge of a writing group’s writing competition this month. They have spent all quarter working on short stories, and I get to read and review them! I couldn’t be more excited. But also… super anxious. That’s a lot of pressure! I don’t want to shoot down any amateur’s dreams! What suggestions do you have for me in this experience?
- Our Shared Shelf- Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
- Kids Lit – Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
- West Side Stories – Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
- Brunch Books – Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
- VACB Book Club – A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
- Science Fiction/Fantasy Book Club: Short Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chaing
- Popsugar Challenge – Eloise by Kay Thompson
- Read Harder Challenge – Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
- Listopia Challenge – When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Looking at this list, I feel a bit overwhelmed, but not as badly as looking at the March list. Quite a few of these will be quick reads, and I am looking forward to all of them!
2017 Goal Update:
- Never have a backlog of more than 5 books which need to be reviewed:
- <sigh> We’re at the end of the first quarter of the year, and I haven’t met this once. I am honestly considering taking a weekend and just hiding away somewhere to write reviews. I have 18 outstanding. I’m just downright embarrassed.
- Spend 5 minutes a day blog hopping:
- So, in the middle of the month, I took a week-long haitaus from blog hopping. Other than that, I’ve been pretty consistent. It’s hard to keep up with y’all! But, I am glad this goal exists to help me build the habit.
- Expand the book discussion question database by at least one book a month:
- Maintain posting twice a week:
- This is the second goal I really struggled with this month. I didn’t get many posts in, but I thought about it frequently. However, I am hoping with my new role at work I will have more time to dedicate to blogging starting mid-April.
- Participate in 5 cross-post style events:
- GUYS. I need your help here! I feel totally lost. I wrote this goal with the intention of developing new blogger relationships, or deepening existing ones. But I’ve got nothing. Help!
- Make the Thanksgiving Readathon with Ottavia a real thing!
- This is something we’ll chat about closer to Thanksgiving. Probably early Q3.
- Expand my non-book review posts:
- My goal for this month was three, but I am proud of the two I posted considering this was a light posting month. I continued by Building Better Book Clubs series with a post about Types of Book Clubs to Join. I also added to my Between the Lines series with a post about my thought process for reviewing writing. Check them out!
There are a lot of changes coming up in my life, but I couldn’t be happier for them. It’s been great for me seeing the support from all my bookish friends, too. Thank you all for your support over a tough and fairly silent month. I look forward to engaging with you all more going forward! Bring on April!!!
What do you think?
- Have you read any of the books I read this month? If so, what do you think? If not, are they on your TBR?
- I’m looking for cross-posting opportunities. What ideas do you have to help me achieve this goal?
- How do you handle being too busy for blogging? How do you decide what to share with your readers, what to keep, and what to let go?
- What are you goals for April? How can I help you achieve them?